Japan Steel Demand to Rise by 5.9% to 25.28 Million tonnes in Oct-Dec

Japanese steel demand will increase by 5.9% to 25.28 million tonnes in equivalent raw steel in October-December from July-September, announced by Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry on Tuesday. The demand increases when the carbon steel export increases by 4% to 6.8 million tonnes and the domestic demand also increases for automobile and civil works while the demand is 4% lower than same period of 2008. The raw steel production reaches 25 million tonnes for the first time in 4 quarters. METI expects the raw steel production is 86.34 million tonnes for 2009, which decreased by 27.3% from 2008 and hits the third low since 1968.

The demand increases quarter to quarter in October-December for 3 quarters in a row while the demand decreases year to year for 5 quarters in a row. METI expects the domestic demand is still middle of recovery while the export lifts the domestic production. METI also warns the steel industry still needs to adjust overstock for October-December. METI seeks the domestic steel makers should prepare for potential downside risk along with potential demand increase.

The export carbon steel demand increases by 39.7% in October-December from same period of 2008 due to relative lower volume in October-December 2008 and recovering demand in Asia. The special steel demand also increases for export to offshore automobile industry.

METI expects domestic automobile production is 2.3 million units for finished car and 1.75 million units for knockdown sets in October-December, which is 7% and 2.9% higher than July-September and 11.4% and 9.4% lower than same period of 2008. METI expects domestic carbon steel consumption increases by 12.1% for civil works from July-September.